Saturday, December 31, 2005

Blog Number 110 - Tyler Bates, Composer & lyricist for Frank Miller's '300'

I received a nice e-mail from Tyler Bates who is the composer for Frank Miller's '300' and he said that it was his 'intention to transform a couple of the score cues into lyric driven songs, for the end credits'.

As far as I'm concerned, the music which accompanies a movie is a vital part and important to the visual element. To illustrate this, if your TV or entertainment system has the capability, try close-captioning with the volume turned off. You will be able to now read the dialogue without any sound and then when you turn it back on you will notice how much the music impacted the scene. It is a very powerful medium which does much to enhance the storyline and which I hope to hear more of Tyler Bates score before '300' is released.

Have a Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Blog Number 109 - Composer Tyler Bates' 'The Stand' in Frank Miller's '300'

Tyler Bates, the composer of the score for Frank Miller's '300' has introduced a snippet of music on his website which will be used in the movie entitled 'The Stand'.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Blog Number 108 - History of Ice Storm Studios in Frank Miller's '300'

In January 2002, the Toronto-based Moliflex-White Group purchased the Ice Storm Studios located in the former Angus shipyards in north-central Montreal. These facilities had been used for various shoots, including 'The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne'.

In late 2003, Ice Storm Studios had been placed under bankruptcy protection with the deal brokered by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which acted as the court-appointed receiver. Mel's Cite du Cinema then acquired Ice Storm Studios with Pricewaterhouse Coopers acting as the intermediary in the sale.

All of this brings us to the current location of the shooting of '300'. It's off the beaten path, however, they are filming it at Ice Storm!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Blog Number 107 - Spartans in Frank Miller's '300'

There was never any doubt in my mind that the Persian army would be duplicated via computer generated imagery since it would have been impracticable to hire so many extras. It is apparent from the Zack Snyder Video Journal that not only will the Persian army be duplicated en masse with the use of CGI, the 300 Spartans will also.

From what I have seen of the journal there appear to be about 20+ Spartans in the sequences, therefore, those numbers will have to be increased exponentially.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Blog Number 106 - Molon Labe in '300'

Here's a plaque of the immortal words spoken by King Leonidas at Thermopylae which I mentioned in Blog Number 29. In Zack Snyder's Video Journal, Gerry Butler who plays Leonidas is seen giving a speech to his warriors before the battle. Unfortunately, we don't hear this phrase in the clip presented, therefore, we'll have to wait for the movie to be released.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Blog Number 105 - 'R' rating for Frank Miller's '300'?

I had a chance to pore through the images on Zack Snyder's 'Production Blog' and am pretty convinced that this movie will be 'R' rated. A 'PG' rating would make it more accessible to a larger audience, however, after viewing the image of a sword through the mid-section of a mannequin, this reinforces my belief that Frank Miller's '300' won't be a movie for the younger crowd.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Blog Number 104 - Video Journal from Frank Miller's '300'

Here's a link to the Video Journal which is narrated by Zack Snyder, the director of Frank Miller's '300'. Very interesting!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Blog Number 103 - Concept art from Frank Miller's '300'

Here are one of the images from the Concept Art section from the '300' movie website. As can be seen, the pass of Thermopylae will be depicted as a narrow passage between two mountains.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Blog Number 102 - Aussie David Wenham as Dilios will survive the Battle of Thermopylae in '300'

After seeing the images from Zack Snyder's production blog, it seems as if the look of the '300' will mirror the illustrations from Frank Miller comics. The question which still remains is, will the storyline follow the book's narrative?

For example, in chapter one of the '300' comics, the character Dilios is shown telling his tale of King Leonidas' youth to the Spartan warriors who sit gathered around the campfire before the battle at Thermopylae.

In chapter five, at the battlefield of Plataea, Dilios who is wearing an eyepatch this time, sits around a campfire with a newly assembled group of Spartiates. It is at this gathering that he tells his the story of their fellow countrymen who valiantly died at Thermopylae.

Therefore, we can assume that since Dilios is shown in the last chapter, he has survived the wounds that were inflicted upon him by the Persians at Thermopylae.

I for one feel that with a little tweak here and there, the story will capture the essence of Frank Miller's '300'. The question is, will this revisionism deter those who want to see a more historically accurate retelling of the battle?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Blog Number 101 - '300' Production blog

Finally, a website from Warner Bros! One of the features is a production blog written by Zack Snyder, the director of '300'. According to the website there will be more updates to follow, however, for the time being feast your eyes on the 'Concept Art'.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Blog Number 100 - Location of Frank Miller's '300' filming revealed

As I mentioned before, I've been fortunate to have several readers of my web log who have provided me with some real nuggets of information. Therefore, what better way is there than to celebrate the milestone of my 100th blog by announcing the location of the filming of Frank Miller's '300'. Can I have a drum roll, please???

The location is: Icestorm Digital Studio Inc. in
Montreal, Quebec.
Much, much more to follow!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Blog Number 99 - The top 10 items that a Frank Miller '300' enthusiast should own

Tomorrow will be my 100th blog and what better way to celebrate than to announce the exact location of the filming of Frank Miller's '300' in Montreal, Canada.

Here is a list (subjective, of course) of what every '300' fan should own! Get your pocketbooks ready, since some of these items are rare, rare, rare and even more expensive, expensive, expensive!!!

1) Frank Miller '300' signed limited edition lithograph
2) Frank Miller '300' promo poster
3) '300' lapel pin
4) '300' bookmark
5) '300' promo card
6) '300' hardcover - English
7) '300' hardcover - Greek
8) '300' hardcover - Spanish
9) '300' hardcover - Italian
10) '300' softcover - comics

Monday, December 19, 2005

Blog Number 98 - Map of the Persian invasion of Greece

Here is a map which shows the route of Xerxes' army which is highlighted in red. It was quite an accomplishment amassing such a large group of warriors along with logistics of food, water, etc. which are even more mind-boggling.

To view an enlarged version of the map, please click the image.

Thanks Sadieanne!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Blog Number 97 - The death of King Leonidas in Frank Miller's '300'

In Blog Number 78, I included an illustration by Peter Connolly of the last day of fighting at Thermopylae. This image shows the remaining Greek warriors who stood in the widest part of the pass which would allow them to inflict the greatest amount of casualties.

In the first two days, the Greek army was constricted by the width of the pass, however, in a wider part of the battlefield which they occupied on the last day, they were able to spread their lines so that they could face more of the enemy at a given time. King Leonidas knew that it would only be a short period of before they would be surrounded.

It was during this part of the battle that the Spartan king died. Two of Xerxes' brothers died along with many other Persians who tried in vain several times to seize the body of Leonidas before the remaining Spartans were finally able to deny them.

One of the most memorable scenes in 'The 300 Spartans' is when the Persian envoy asks for the body of Leonidas in return for their lives. The Spartan Pentheus replies, 'We stay with our king' and it was then that the remaining Greeks were killed by the arrows 'which blot out the sun'.

The death of King Leonidas will be the most powerful part of the '300' and I wonder if Gerard Butler will say his final words as written by Frank Miller; 'My queen. My wife. My love. Be strong. Good-bye.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Blog Number 96 - Dominic West cast as Theron in Frank Miller's '300'

Dominic West has been cast as Theron in Frank Miller's '300' which is another interesting part since there wasn't any such character in the comics. Now the question to be answered: Is Theron a Spartan or is he a leader of one of the other Greek cities that fought with the Spartans at Thermopylae?

For my 100th blog, I hope to divulge the exact location of the filming of '300' in Montreal!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Blog Number 95 - Aussie David Wenham cast as Dilios in Frank Miller's '300'

It has been confirmed that David Wenham from 'the land down under' has been cast as the storyteller Dilios in Frank Miller's '300'.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Blog Number 94 - Montaigne's essay about King Leonidas and the '300' Spartans

Michel de Montaigne, the French Renaissance thinker wrote one of the most eloquent essays about King Leonidas and the Battle of Thermopylae.

Here is the translation by Donald M. Frame:

The most valiant are sometimes the most unfortunate. Thus there are triumphant defeats that rival victories. Nor did those four sister victories, the fairest that the sun ever set eyes on - Salamis, Plataea, Mycale, and Sicily - ever dare match all their combined glory against the glory of the annihilation of King Leonidas and his men at the pass of Thermopylae.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Blog Number 93 - The 1962 & 2006 King Leonidas of the '300' Spartans

Here are images of King Leonidas as portrayed by Richard Egan in 1962's 'The 300 Spartans' and a photo of Gerard Butler who will be the new King Leonidas in Frank Miller's '300' which is tentatively scheduled to premier in 2006.

Thanks to Tamara & for the photo of Gerry Butler!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Blog Number 92 - Bust of King Leonidas of the '300' Spartans

Of all the different statues that I have collected of King Leonidas, this one would have to be one of my favorites. It is also one of the rarest as it was acquired in Greece several years ago.

I believe this is how Gerry Butler will look with this Corinthian type helmet and breastplate. Even though Frank Miller had illustrated the Spartans without much armor, if '300' is to retain some credibility with the audience, protective devices such as the cuirass (breastplate) will have to be worn by the Greek warriors.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Blog Number 91 - Epitaph for the '300' Spartans

Here is a plaque of the translated epitaph for the fallen 300 Spartiates of Thermopylae. The image is based on the fallen Greek warrior statue in Blog Number 90.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Blog Number 90 - Dying Greek warrior

Whenever I see this sculpture of the dying Greek warrior, I always think of the fallen heroes of Thermopylae. This image is of the warrior from the East pediment of the temple of Aphaia at Aegina from the beginning of the 5th Century B.C.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Blog Number 89 - Herodotus - The first author of '300'

Here's an image of a nice set of books of Herodotus' 'Histories' which are around 50 years old. While Frank Miller's '300' is an entertaining account of the Battle of Thermopylae, I feel that one must read Book 7 of Herodotus' work since his is the original account of the battle.

By reading this version by the 'Father of History', one can develop a more accurate understanding of the reasons for the battle and its aftermath.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Blog Number 88 - Another statue of King Leonidas of the '300' Spartans

Here's another statue of King Leonidas that I have collected over the years and what I have found most interesting is that all the statues show this most famous of Spartan warriors without his armor.

Is this why Frank Miller has portrayed the Spartans without armor in the '300' comics???

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Blog Number 87 - Statue of King Leonidas of the '300' Spartans

Here's an image of one of the statues of King Leonidas of Sparta that I have collected over the years. This one was purchased in Greece and is one of my favorites.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Blog Number 86 - Frank Miller '300' signed limited edition lithograph

Here is the 'creme de la creme' of my Frank Miller '300' collection; the Dark Horse limited edition lithograph of King Leonidas of Sparta signed by both the author Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, who colored the illustrations. This is a true rarity since only 300 were individually signed and numbered by Miller and Varley.

It measures 30 inches horizontally, by 23 inches vertically and since Miller & Varley don't sell their original artwork, this lithograph has become a prized collectible. The way I look at is, if the '300' movie is a smash, which I believe it will be, these lithographs will appreciate even more in value.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Blog Number 85 - King Leonidas' personal bodyguard, the '300' Spartans

When King Leonidas and his personal bodyguard marched to Thermopylae in 480 B.C., he would have 'under normal circumstances' been accompanied by the Hippeis. However, since these 300 Spartans had to have a male heir, the royal bodyguard of King Leonidas that fought and died at Thermopylae must have consisted of a combination of Hippeis and other Spartan hoplites since not all the Hippeis had produced a male heir.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Blog Number 84 - Hippeis - The '300' finest of Sparta

Since all Spartan males served in the military, there was no higher honor than to be a part of the elite unit known as the Hippeis, which was the King of Sparta's personal bodyguard. This unit was comprised of the 300 best Spartiati warriors who were held in the highest esteem, which probably would be the equivalent today to the SAS of Australia, the Delta Force of the USA, etc.

According to Plutarch, when the Spartan hoplite Paedaretus wasn't chosen as a member of the Hippeis, he left cheerfully remarking that he was glad that Sparta had 300 warriors better than himself.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Blog Number 83 - Australian reenactment group of the '300' Spartans

Here is a fantastic image of an Australian reenactment group from Melbourne, Victoria named 'The Ancient Hoplitikon of Melbourne'. This close-up photo shows what the Persian army will encounter in Frank Miller's '300'; an impenetrable phalanx of crimson-cloaked 300 Spartan warriors with their Corinthian helmets and 8 foot spears.

I have included several other images of the group headed by one of my fellow Greek-Australian mates Athanasios Porporis. I hope you like this image and the others on my other blog as it is very accurate as to the appearance of the Greek warriors that the Persians faced at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.

Since the Melbourne hoplites don't have a website, I will forwarding feedback to them from this blog and the King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans of Thermopylae blog.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Blog Number 82 - Advantages & disadvantages of the '300' Spartans' helmets

While this image is not of the Battle of Thermopylae, it does show the phalanx which is the formation that would have been used by King Leonidas and the 300 Spartiates in this battle. Of particular interest is the piper, who set the cadence for the intricate manuevers that were used by the Spartans.

The advantage of the Corinthian style helmet was that it completely enclosed the head, while the disadvantage was that it resulted in the hoplite's vision and hearing being restricted. Therefore, the piercing notes of the pipe were used to instruct the Spartans into the formation and the tactics that were to be employed.

Thanks to Miyuki & Sadieanne!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Blog Number 81 - The site of the final stand of the '300' Spartans & 700 Thespians

Here is an image from the Peter Connolly book, entitled 'Greece and Rome at War' which shows the site of the last stand of the Spartan and Thespian defenders.

After King Leonidas was killed, the remaining Greek defenders were able to extricate his body from the Persians after very heavy fighting. With the Spartan king's body in their possession, the remaining hoplites withdrew to this hillock where they were eventually overwhelmed by the Persian archers. This hillock was identified as the site of the last stand when hundreds of arrows were recovered during an archaeological expedition before World War II.

In Blog Number 77, the image which was included was that of the battlefield taken from the vantage point of the last stand. The site of the last stand which is pictured above was to the south of the fighting which took place in the previous two days.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Blog Number 80 - Creature Effects, Inc. to supply FX for '300'

I was able to confirm yesterday that Mark Rappaport's company, Creature Effects, Inc. will be creating the special effects for the Frank Miller, Battle of Thermopylae film '300'. After looking at the pages on the aforementioned website, especially the make-up page, I was amazed at how an actor can be transformed into his/her alter ego.

The metamorphosis of Andrew Tiernan into the character Ephialtes will be the most interesting, especially when you see how he appears in Blog Number 73.